Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Back Story: We're all chasing something

I had an uncle who lived in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York. When I was a kid, we used to visit, sometimes staying overnight. He had an old hound named Mr. Brown, a dog, who, much like me, had his best days behind him. Mr. Brown spent a lot of time sleeping on his side on a bare wooden floor. Despite the fact that he was severely lame, his legs would get going, scraping his long nails on the boards as he howled softly in his slumber.

"He's dreaming about chasing deer," my uncle would tell us.

When I do that, I'm dreaming about chasing girls.

Nowadays, I have a dog of my own. She, too, dreams. Last night her front and hind legs were going in a full out gallop as she slept on her Posturepedic mattress in her upscale crate.

"She's dreaming about chasing chickens," I told Amy.

I knew this because we had an episode, yesterday, that answered a long standing question that we have had about this dog. When she was a pup, we tried our best to get her used to our backyard flock, exposing her to the chickens in limited amounts, bringing her into the chicken run on a leash, or letting one of the more badass birds out in the backyard to play with her. It seemed to be working, as evidenced in the video below. But we always wondered how she would react, given the chance to catch one of our chickens, now that she is a two-year-old.

Yesterday, when I went out to feed the flock, I left the gate to the chicken run ajar - it had gotten stuck in the snow. Suki pushed her way in behind my back and started chasing the hens. I realized what had happened as soon as the kerfuffle started. As she rounded the bend from behind the coops, chickens scattering everywhere, she caught our little buff Cochin and got her down on the ground. I dropped what I was doing and grabbed her by the collar, pulling her off the screaming banty. Lil' Gertie hopped up and ran off to hide as I carried the struggling heeler out the gate. The chicken, short a few feathers, was otherwise okay. Question answered. I'll have to be more careful from now on.

So last night, Suki dreamed. Her legs were going and she growled softly in her sleep. Catching that elusive golden-feathered bird will have to wait till another day.


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